Flemish PM raises human rights’ situation in Hong Kong in China

Flemish PM Jan Jambon (Flemish nationalist) has kept his word and has raised the issue of Hong Kong with his Chinese hosts, but Flanders' paramount leader made it clear he did this in a “cautious fashion” as he didn’t think strong language would help to change the human rights’ situation in the territory.

Mr Jambon represented Flanders in the trade mission that’s been in the People’s Republic in recent days.  600 businesses too were represented.  Mr Jambon feels that strong language on Hong Kong could have jeopardised business opportunities. Nevertheless, last week, Mr Jambon promised the Flemish Parliament to raise the matter with the Chinese authorities.  He now says that he did this at the first opportunity, on the first day of the visit, though he notes he did this cautiously as the main aim was to promote business contacts. Mr Jambon raised concerns about the situation in Hong Kong during political contacts and insists that just because the issue is a sensitive one “it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t address it.”

Mr Jambon regrets that Flanders is too small to condemn the human rights situation in China and believes initiatives should be taken by the EU, an organisation “that saw life in order to allow power blocks to speak and act as equals”.